Dietetics students raise more than $1,100 for Thursday’s Table

By University Communications
December 23, 2014
Stout Student Dietetics Association members present a check for $1,045 to Thursday’s Table officials.

Photo: Stout Student Dietetics Association members with Thursday’s Table officials.

A University of Wisconsin-Stout student organization has taken a bite out of a large and persistent problem facing a Menomonie nonprofit group.

The Stout Student Dietetics Association recently donated $1,155 to Thursday’s Table, which provides a free community meal each Thursday evening at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 420 Wilson Ave.

In the fall, Thursday’s Table reported that it was running low on funds. The group relies entirely on donations, grants and volunteers to serve from 80 to 110 people a week. The meals began in 2006.

Dietetics students, who regularly volunteer at Thursday’s Table, decided to help. They made and sold more than 260 bags of healthy Energy Bites, with each bag containing a dozen bites.

The initial proceeds, $1,045, were given to Thursday’s Table officials at a recent check presentation, along with another $110 shortly thereafter.

Students sold the Energy Bites to other students, UW-Stout faculty and staff, family and friends.

SSDA is made up of students majoring in dietetics. Most of the 82 members helped with the fundraising project.

“We created the fundraiser after we heard about the financial issues Thursday’s Table was having,” said Corrie Hegwood, of Eau Claire, SSDA public relations officer. “While we are very proud of the money we were able to raise, it will again only last so long. They need us to give back. A small cash donation or time spent volunteering makes all the difference.”

Jill Schwebs, chair of the board for Thursday’s Table, was thrilled with the donation.

“That helps hugely. The amount they donated is about 10 percent of our budget for the year. I was so proud of them. I think they were amazed themselves with what they came up with,” said Schwebs. “It’s a wonderful thing for the community to be working with UW-Stout.”

Along with SSDA students, other students from UW-Stout regularly volunteer at Thursday’s Table, Schwebs said.

SSDA students have volunteered at Thursday’s Table for more than five years, said LaNae Maass, of La Crescent, Minn., co-president.

“We enjoy helping this organization because it provides a hot meal of fresh food to those who may not have access to one. They also provide a friendly, social and safe atmosphere,” Maass said.

Thursday’s Table serves about 5,000 meals a year. About 25 volunteers each week help prepare and serve the meal and clean up. First Congregational Church donates the use of its kitchen and dining area.

Thursday’s Table donations can be sent to: Thursday’s Table, P.O. Box 669, Menomonie WI, 54751.

Thursday’s Table is a registered nonprofit corporation. All contributions are tax deductible.